The new Denner/Shermann album is everything heavy metal aspires to be contained in forty-two minutes, where its over the top emphasis on tragedy is comparable to Grecian classics. Masters of Evil is a compelling listen and since Thebes had its day why not ignite some fresh kindling under popular myths?
It’s as if a quarter of a century of metal mutations didn’t happen, as there are no nu-elements or an allotted demographic target audience, Denner and Shermann have worked their experience to transgress the expectations of heavy metal and music.
Woof! Michael Denner and Hank Shermann return to bestow this contentious album after their 2015 debut EP Satan’s Tomb. The experienced duo behind two of the most memorable albums in metal history are probably better known for their work with King Diamond in Mercyful Fate, although they’ve taken their time to resurrect the partnership that made Melissa and Don’t Break The Oath, their nuances are timeless just as the execution is flawless.
In adopting a loose narrative they paint scenes in gritty tones and layer them in technicolour, creating fantastic choruses worthy of retelling, giving the blues a darker shade of midnight.
The charge of Masters of Evil is hot but remains accessible and coherent. The articulate tunes offer more than extreme music can provide, but retain the intricate characteristics both are good at. Yet where many bands utilize their technique solely to impress the listener Denner/Shermann use it to decorate their theatrical scenes and to winning effect.
It’s not without its cheese factor however, as it’s a true heavy metal album, but it’s delectable in that aspect. It’s also not often you get an offering to the devils lot that’s still smouldering after being baptised in Angel’s Blood.